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Sr. Stella Marie Chettukulath

“In my Father’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so, I would not have told you that I go to prepare a place for you.” Jn .14:2 Our dear Sr. Stella Marie, having completed her earthly sojourn, said her last ‘Amen’ to the Lord of life on 31st July 2018 and crossed over to the realm of eternity, where there will be “no more sorrow, no more pain”. Sr. Stella Marie was born on 4th Nov. 1937 as the fourth of the seven children, to Mr. P. A. Joseph and Alice Chettukulath Puthenpurayil, at Monippally. She belonged to Sacred Heart parish in Kottayam Diocese. At Baptism she was named as Mary, and received the name Stella Marie at her first profession in religious life. She completed her High School education in 1956. Being born in a traditional Christian family of faith and prayer, the seed of religious vocation was nurtured in her that she responded to the call of God and joined the Ursulines of Mary Immaculate, Kannur, on 9th July 1959. She made her first profession on 10th Jan. 1962 and her final commitment on 10th Jan. 1967 at St. Joseph’s convent, Chakkeri, Kanpur. After the first profession, she rendered her service at Kokkanassery, Payyannur, for four years, before the call came to go to the missions in North India. Her first appointment in the north was at St. Joseph’s Convent, Chakkeri, Kanpur, in 1965. She was a teacher by profession and rendered her valuable and generous services at Robertsganj, Mariampur, Renukoot, Kathgodam, Kannur and St. Patrick’s, Kanpur, getting appointed to some of these places more than once. After being actively involved in the ministry of education in different places, she came to Mariampur Convent, Kanpur, in 2003 and was fully involved in pastoral services specially visiting families. As the years passed by, she was becoming weaker in her mental capacity. In 2013 Sr. Stella Marie had been admitted at Mariampur Hospital from 25th July to August 26th, with multi-infracts dementia. By then her memory had almost completely gone and she could hardly recognize people with the exception of few individuals. She lost her speech capacity too. Though she tried to express herself it was not clear. She had a beautiful smile and showed her love and affection through her expressions. Gradually she was confined only to her room, completely dependent on others. A month before her death she was found becoming increasingly weak. On July 27th 2018, she was admitted in the Hospital with respiratory infection. On 28th evening, she had a mild cardiac arrest and her condition grew worse. She breathed her last on 31st July. Sr. Stella Marie was a person of deep faith and prayer. She put all her trust in God, in all situations of life. Her room beautifully decorated with holy articles and pictures of Saints, points to her faith in the spiritual realities of life. Stella was an active and vibrant person who made her presence felt wherever she lived. Her hearty laughter brought ripples of joyfulness to those around. She was open and simple with a heart ready to forgive and ask forgiveness. She was very sociable, helpful and generous by nature that she was ready to go out of her way to make any sacrifice when it was a question of helping a needy person. Her compassion and concern towards the poor was remarkable and praise worthy. Her funeral service was on 1st August. Most Rev. Raphy Manjally, the Bishop of Allahabad, was the main celebrant for the Eucharistic celebration along with eleven concelebrants. After the holy Mass, the funeral procession moved to Lal -Kurthy Cemetery where the mortal remains of our dear sister was laid to rest. Sr. Stella is no more with us physically but her fond memories will remain in our love and prayer. My sincere thanks and appreciation goes to Most Rev. Raphy Manjally, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Allahabad, for his generous availability, for coming and celebrating the holy Eucharist for us and praying for our sister. He gave a fitting, simple and meaningful homily on the occasion. May the Lord reward Sr. Stella and welcome her into His heavenly glory. May she intercede for us from above and shower down God’s blessings upon us.